Image rights, remuneration, Mbappé: sports star lawyer Delphine Verheyden describes her methods

Image rights, remuneration, Mbappé: sports star lawyer Delphine Verheyden describes her methods

Quite discreet about her activities, Delphine Verheyden, the lawyer who manages the careers of many athletes including Kylian Mbappé or Kevin Mayer, confided in a podcast of just over an hour called Pause and hosted by Alexandre Mars. She talks about her childhood, her career and her commitment to athletes, whom she mainly advises on the use of their image by commercial brands. The one who is used to moving the lines comes back in particular to the case of the DIC (Collective image rights) within the French Football Federation. Or how Kylian Mbappé refused to comply with a shooting session with FFF partners last March to obtain better control of his image within the Blues.

“I am very much in favor of the exchange with the federations. This exchange I had recently with the FFF, and it is still ongoing. But I have already had it in the past with the Judo Federation for Teddy Riner and the Ski Federation for Martin Fourcade with always on the same principle which is to defend the individual in his image rights, explains the lawyer for the Paris Saint-Germain striker. We all have a right to our image, even if it does not have the same value for everyone. My job is not to dispossess athletes of this image. We are moving into web 3.0, and I believe that individual image and individual ownership are going to be cardinal virtues. We must not let go now otherwise it will be catastrophic for people with an image, they will be dispossessed. »

Not paid on a percentage basis

The Council of Grand Champions also returned to the financial link that binds it to these athletes. While lawyers can practice as sports agents, she says she refuses to collect a percentage on the contracts she signs for her prestigious clients. “More and more, we find colleagues who take a percentage of the files in which they intervene, which is authorized by our regulations by respecting certain precautions. In my opinion, this is not the right method. A percentage out of zero is not expensive, so the service provider will be frustrated and when you are frustrated, you don’t produce good work. A percentage on six or seven figure amounts is way too much money, and there it is the customer who will be frustrated”, deciphers Delphine Verheyden who explains the method of remuneration she uses with Kylian Mbappé, Kevin Mayer and the others.

“I’m very comfortable asking for fees, and I have an hourly rate that could be considered high,” she says. On the other hand, I have always refused to be paid on a percentage basis, because the trust that a client has in us should be priceless. When you find yourself at the end of a very long negotiation, sometimes at the end of the night, and you have to present your client with an alternative with, in your soul and conscience, the pluses and minuses and you tell him “now it’s up to you to choose”. If at that moment, the customer says to himself: on the right she takes X million, and on the left she takes nothing, we put the worm in the fruit. »

No intervention on the extension at PSG

Although she was at the Parc des Princes during the presentation of the signing of Kylian Mbappé’s new contract last week, the lawyer explains in the background that she played no role in her client’s choice to stay at PSG. “I don’t deal with the sports sector, because I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t do anything to know myself about it,” says Verheyden. My area of ​​expertise is not that, so I don’t work on transfers to know when a client should change teams, and where he should go. On the other hand, there is a whole contractual aspect to manage, because it is an employment contract with provisions relating to the image, and there I am in my core business. The athletes I deal with do not have an agent because they have this knowledge themselves or in their close circle. Lawyers can be agents, but in the strict sense, we do not do the same job. An agent is going to be the one who is able to find a club, to detect a sporting talent and to accompany him. I am unable to do this. Besides, clients choose me for that, because I’m not going to get involved in sports. »

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